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Trips from Kašperské Hory

Kašperské Hory has gone down in history primarily as a royal mining town in a gold ore district. The original name Reichenstein translates as rich stone. In theory, a piece of land in the woods that was mined in the Middle Ages could still cave in. It seems that even today the gold content in the soil bed is a magnet for tourists, for whom the town is a great starting point to explore the wild world of nature and the unique history of Šumava.

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The historic city centre surrounding the square offers a variety of attractions, including a visitor centre enclosed in the town hall, which has three Baroque gables. Near the Church of St Margaret, there are medieval stones from quartz mills, including the Arma Christi cross behind the building. The greatest amount of information, not only about the history, can be found in the Museum of Šumava.

The past glory of the town is evidenced by the existence of two more churches: the Church of Our Lady of the Snows and the Gothic mining Church of St Nicholas.


Trip to the Kašperk Castle

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KašperkDominating the region, it is not known whether the rocky peak supporting the castle since its construction 650 years ago was originally barren or reached that condition as a result of building activities. The ‘Father of the Homeland', Charles IV, had the castle built to protect the gold mines, to watch trading along the salt route (Gold Trail), and to guard the land border in what was then called Pomezní hvozd - the nearby Šumava forest.

Leaving the square (green marks), you cross the valley to ascend to the highest-elevated royal castle in Bohemia (920 m). Each of the guided tours enables you to have a top view of the world from one of the watchtowers. In 1616, the town of Kašperské Hory bought the crumbling castle, maintaining it as an admired ruin to this day. You can get back to the town by following the blue marks.

Trip for gold

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AmálkaFor gold, people settled here centuries ago; the same gleaming metal attracts tourists today. Follow the footsteps of prospectors out of town, heading south (green marks) to reach the valley of Amálino údolí, through which flows, of course, the stream of Zlatý potok, translated literally as the Gold Stream. Entrances to the underground can be noted even from the road. For visitor security, each of the medieval tunnels are fitted with an iron grid that also protects the bats that frequently dwell in these cave-like areas.

Before you arrive near the gateway of the mining gallery called Naděje, you can visit an exhibit at the local seismic centre (reservations necessary) and a pen with a ranging herd of European bisons. The descent over the hill of Liščí vrch (blue marks) takes you back to the town with breath-taking views along the way that will linger in your memory. (The route is part of the ‘In the Footsteps of the Gold Miners' scheme of the town-based walking trails, green marks).

Trip to the castle of Obří hrad

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Obří-hradNear Nicov, directly from Popelná, a climb can take you to a castle that was the highest-elevated Celtic fort in Bohemia - just follow the nature trail called ‘Celts' in Šumava. A lay person would find it difficult to locate a human settlement on this stony and heavily forested hill two and a half thousand years afterwards.

Archaeological efforts yielded more success, discovering double walls of stone with a central acropolis. The entrance is a rocky gate, the creation of Mother Nature, and the formation called the stone table is perhaps just the result of coincidence. In addition to the traces of history, the castle offers interesting views. (The next nearest Celtic hill fort is Sedlo u Albrechtic, which is much better known for its viewing tower.)

 

 


 

 

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